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I'm basically looking for information so I can learn what LILO is. I recall trying to dual-boot Ubuntu with Windows and not being able to get into Windows. I had just wanted to get back my Windows after that. So any information to helping me learn about LILO is appreciated. Thanks!

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Please post the actual problem you have -- e.g. not being able to boot Windows after installing Ubuntu, instead of a general question about LILO. – izx May 11 '12 at 10:30
up vote 4 down vote accepted

LILO is an alternative for GRUB. It is a Linux boot Loader. Because GRUB is has more features it is commonly used with most distributions. LILO is smaller, brilliant for booting from floppy disk, but otherwise can be considered a legacy application.

Having said that LILO is still used as the default boot loader by the Slackware distro which uses the most recent release: version 24.2 which came out on November 22nd 2015.

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Since most new systems are UEFI based, I would absolutely second that it is considered to be legacy. Of course there is eLILO and GRUB can handle UEFI too, but I think the really nice part for UEFI is the recently implemented EFI stub boot loader of the kernel. – LiveWireBT May 11 '12 at 11:43

LILO (See the man page for some configuration files) is a bootloader and a very old one at that. It even predates GRUB. Nowadays you will see that most systems will install GRUB. GRUB 2 (so the 2nd edition of GRUB) is the default boot loader and manager for Ubuntu since version 9.10 (Karmic Koala).

Wikipedia has this to say about LILO:

LILO was the default boot loader for most Linux distributions in the years after the popularity of loadlin. Today, most distributions use GRUB as the default boot loader.

LILO does not depend on a specific file system, and can boot an operating system (e.g., Linux kernel images) from floppy disks and hard disks. One of up to sixteen different images can be selected at boot time. Various parameters, such as the root device, can be set independently for each kernel. LILO can be placed either in the master boot record (MBR) or the boot sector of a partition. In the latter case something else must be placed in the MBR to load LILO.

At system start, only the BIOS drivers are available for LILO to access hard disks. For this reason, with very old BIOS, the accessible area is limited to cylinders 0 to 1023 of the first two hard disks. For later BIOS, LILO can use 32-bit "logical block addressing" (LBA) to access practically the entire storage of all the hard disks that the BIOS allows access to.

I seriously doubt you have LILO installed. Where did you see that you have LILO? If you have a dual boot Ubuntu with Windows it -should- be GRUB that is installed on your machine. I don't think that you can install LILO from the installation CD (well at least not without using the alternate installation where you can get a menu with the installation steps).

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LILO is a boot loader. From what I know it's quite outdated. It was replaced in most distributions by GRUB or GRUB2.

My guess is you probalby should download the grub2 boot CD and start your computer with that. It will recognize your windows and linux partitions, see which ones are bootable and allow you to boot them or even to replace your old bootmanager ...

Hope I got u right and that helps ... :-)

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